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Shifting values: hope and concern for “waking up”

Andy Hines (Lecturer/Executive‐in‐Residence at the Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 9 August 2013




The purpose of this paper is to take up the challenge of Slaughter's Biggest Wake‐up Call in History to look for solution in the interior aspects of the Integral perspective by focusing on long‐term patterns of changing values in individual interior (the upper‐left “intentional” quadrant of the Integral matrix).


The paper applies the author's research on long‐term patterns in individual values changes. It takes a developmental perspective, suggesting a consistent direction of change in individual values, drawing on an analysis of 20 values systems described in the literature.


The findings suggest that the long‐term values changes offer both hope and concern for addressing the global emergency. The hope comes from development in postmodern and integral values, suggesting that the rise of postmodern values could lead to greater awareness of the global emergency and that the rise of integral values in particular could lead to greater action in addressing it. A concern is that modern values suggest priorities reinforcing the trends and developments, such as a massive rise in consumption, driving the global emergency and that these values are increasingly prevalent in the emerging markets that make up the largest share of the global population.

Research limitations/implications

The most important area for further research would be to develop an accurate measure of the prevalence of the types of values present in the world today.

Social implications

The impacts on society suggest important timing questions for addressing the global emergency. The growing presence of modern values reinforces the trends driving the emergency, while the rise of postmodern and integral values suggests potential for moving toward solutions. It is not clear which set of values will end up having the greater impact: modern values could intensify the emergency before postmodern and integral values are sufficiently developed to drive solutions.


The synthesis of research on long‐term pattern in values shifts and its application to global emergency discussion adds an element of richness to the discussion of the role of interior aspects of the integral perspective. Futurists and others concerned with the global emergency will have greater insight into the need to deal with the spread of modern values in the emerging markets, as well as greater insight into the need to cultivate the spread of postmodern and integral values and enlist the support of those having those values in working on solutions to the global emergency.



Hines, A. (2013), "Shifting values: hope and concern for “waking up”", On the Horizon, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 187-196.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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